Five African commercial banks have partnered in a $375 million financing deal to build the world’s largest diamond mining ship for a subsidiary of Anglo American’s diamond unit; De Beers, the partnering banks are Nedbank Namibia, RMB Namibia, Standard Bank, ABSA, and Bank Windhoek.
The partnering banks will contribute 80 per cent of the $375 million funding for the construction of the ship, while the remaining percentage, amounting to $94million will be covered by the Namibian government and the De Beers venture in a 50-50 joint venture company between De Beers and the government of Namibia.
The ship once constructed will be called the AMV3, and will take up the 7th position in the Debmarine Namibia fleet, it will be used to unearth stellar quality diamonds from the ocean.
The first five years is estimated to see the vessel deliver an extra 500,000 carats of diamonds to the normal number of units reeled in per year. The high tech equipment equipped vessel is expected to have a higher survey sense and is predicted to rake in 2 billion Namibian dollars ($137.64 million) a year to the Namibian government’s purse.
The chief executive officer of Debmarine Namibia expressing his satisfaction in the partnership said;
“The highest quality diamonds in the world are found in our Ocean, with this investment, we will be able to optimise new technology to find and recover diamonds more efficiently and meet growing consumer demand.”
According to Reuters, Nedbank Namibia will not only be contributing 40% of the 80% funding by the banks but will be in charge of currency hedging for the deal. This was disclosed by one of the executives of the Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking and Treasury.
Mining is the economic mainstay of the Namibian economy as it accounts for 25% of the Southern African country’s income.